PURPOSE OF APPROPEDIA

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SUMMARY: Appropedia is our vision, which is focused on the phenomenal success of wiki-based infrastructures. Rather than concentrating on the power of collaborative web-based information centralization and designing collaboration policies to make the information solid, referenced, and accurate for capturing what is well-established, Appropedia is extending this definition to include collaborative study, creation, and problem-solving by integrating real-time data.

PROBLEM SPACE: Many technological areas, like sustainability and construction technology, are built in relatively closed environments. Previously, recording and communicating solutions required time-consuming and expensive publication with little benefit to the author. Engineers and fieldworkers have been wasting time, energy, and money solving the same problems over and over due to difficulties in tracking down current solutions to relevant technology problems. A single shared infrastructure is needed so that the current fragmented community of appropriate technologists can collaborate on their projects more effectively and freely.

Collaborative service learning initiatives (which incorporate community service, internship, and instruction) like suitable technology courses and labs at universities, for example, are a rich source of new ideas in the field. Through leadership opportunities, public participation, practical design experience, and immersion in diverse contexts of design projects, such programs generate successful change agents that few other teaching methods allow. The creation of Effective Solutions is a major focus of service learning. However, useful service learning wisdom is rarely published in an accessible format, and it is produced and lost every academic year.

Indeed, all appropriate technologists should be able to work with others they may already know in order to expand the nature of a solution to satisfy a variety of conditions such as geography, community, materials, atmosphere, geology, crops, and animal species. We imagine a world in which people from all walks of life cooperate to solve challenges and share solutions on a global and multilingual scale. The challenge of sharing has been a barrier; however, with a well-established infrastructure, a cultural change toward more sharing and collaboration would be possible, leading to widespread acceptance of the most effective sustainable habits, lifestyles, and resources.

SOLUTION: The "trimtab" idea was born in Appropedia as a result of the leverage that can be obtained by exchanging knowledge at no cost to writers or readers, and by allowing the spontaneous creation of problem-solving teams of willing collaborators. This is important! The Wikipedias of the world, which rely on well-known facts, will appear to foster a culture of "let's just ask the Internet." Appropedia, on the other hand, would allow people to say, "I wonder if I can build on this approach." This is the state Appropedia aspires to enter.